About 15,000 people gathered in a threefold celebration of the Tzu Chi Foundation, Philippines for its 46th global founding anniversary, Mother’s Day and the birthday of Buddhism’s great teacher, Gautama Buddha.
Marikina City hosted the event at the Marikina Sports Park last May 13. It was participated in by Chinese and Filipino Tzu Chi volunteers, staff, beneficiaries, donors, invited guests, religious leaders, Marikina City officials, representatives from Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
While most of the attendees were predominantly Catholics, the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation continuously fostered great love that transcends all boundaries in race, creed, and status in society.
The event featured a remarkable human formation of Tzu Chi’s significant symbols such as its official logo, Bodhi leaf and a lotus flower.
“We are grateful for the fortitude shown by our volunteers despite the series of long rehearsals and heavy rains. I am very happy that they have stood by us patiently till the conclusion of this event,” Tzu Chi Philippines’ chief executive officer Alfredo Li said.
The human formation was a first for Tzu Chi’s branch here, making this year’s celebration historic.
During last year, the organization held the three events through a simple ceremony and prayer vigil with 2,000 people. It can be recalled that Typhoon “Bebeng” pummelled the event with a heavy downpour.
Li said the event aimed at spreading “truth, goodness, and beauty” of sincere piety which the Buddha shared to the world.
The Buddha’s birthday was celebrated through the Buddha-bathing ceremony to pay homage to the Enlightened One and to cleanse people’s minds and hearts. Participants held the ritual by bowing, tapping on scented water and offering flower to the Buddha.
Meanwhile, the 46th global anniversary of Buddhist group was marked by a rice relief to 9, 825 indigent families who mostly came in Marikina, a city that has been a beneficiary of Tzu Chi’s projects since Typhoon “Ondoy” in 2009.
All recipients received a 20-kilo sack of rice imported through TECO. The rice relief project started since July last year in partnership with the DSWD.
Marikina City Mayor Del De Guzman said the organization has been their constant partner for the many developments of the city and its people, hence announcing every second Sunday of May as Tzu Chi Day there.
“Tzu Chi has significantly helped change the lives of many Marikeños. It is our small way to state our gratefulness to their continuous kindness and generosity,” he said.
On the same day, De Guzman also announced that Azucena Street in Barangay Fortune is now officially called Tzu Chi Street in honor of the humanitarian contributions made by the Buddhist organization to the city’s marginalized sector which began shortly after Typhoon “Ondoy” devastated the locality in September 26, 2009.
Incidentally, Tzu Chi Street also houses the Tzu Chi Marikina Educational Recycling Center.
For the Mother’s Day celebration, a tribute to parents was conducted by some Marikina residents, headed by De Guzman, where they washed their parents’ feet as a sign of respect and filial piety.
Tzu Chi Foundation upholds the spirit of filial piety in all its activities. The Mother’s Day offering during Tzu Chi’s threefold celebration filled the venue with tears as parent-child affinity was made even more tightened.
The multiple events were concluded through a prayer vigil done in unison by all attendees in the hope of blessing the world with peace and harmony.
Marikina City Mayor Del De Guzman washes his father’s feet as a symbol of his respect to the parents who reared him. The activity was part of the Mother’s Day offering which, for Tzu Chi Foundation, is not only a celebration for mothers but to both parents. 【Photo by Lineth Brondial】
The dimly lit Marikina Sports Park glows as 15,000 people hold their candles during the prayer vigil wherein differences in religion was set aside as each one prays for the purification of the minds of the people, harmony in society, and that there be no more disasters in the world. 【Photo by Al Franco Ocampo】
Marikina Mayor Del De Guzman together with a Tzu Chi volunteer help a rice beneficiary in carrying her 20-kilo sack of rice. The rice relief which is part of Tzu Chi’s 46th Anniversary, benfited 9,831 indigent families mostly coming from Marikina City. 【Photo by Camille Nepomuceno】